How to Use Student Portfolios as a Classroom Tool 

A good portfolio helps to boost learning, inspire growth and achievement. Portfolios have the ability to transform the learning environment in instruction, assessment, development, and research. Moreover, students are able to participate in their own learning through selection and reflection entering a relationship with their teachers that is collegial. Therefore, when you are utilizing student portfolios as an investment tool in your child’s education is a great idea. Here are three other important benefits of using portfolios in learning:


Portfolios offer students who are not good testers a chance to showcase their mastery of content. They have the ability to choose what documents they want to put in their portfolio and discover how to improve their work. Consequently, they learn to work independently.

Promote Communication

They ensure that the student gets a one-on-one session with the teacher. This method is especially good for those shy students who find it difficult to communicate in front of their classmates. In addition, the teacher is able to single out students who have learning difficulties easily. During conferences, students are able to discuss their progress and obtain suggestions on how to improve their progress. A portfolio helps the teacher to discover a student’s style of learning and their attitudes towards learning.


Portfolios offer the student a platform to showcase their academic achievement and participation in community service projects. Utilizing student portfolio as an investment tool can be beneficial to the student especially in the workplace. Employers are always interested in knowing whether an employee has a portfolio to be able to tell whether they have the skills needed at the workplace. Consequently, the portfolio career is thelatest trend, countrywide.

However, there are three types of portfolios and a teacher must decide which one they want to utilize best with the students. These include display portfolios, assessment portfolios, and working portfolios. Furthermore, the type of coursework or subject they are learning will heavily influence this. However, at times all three of them overlap in different aspects.


Prior to building any kind of portfolio, the teacher must decide the intention that it’s going to serve in the student’s academic life. In the event that, it’s meant to display the student’s growth then the display portfolio would be the best. In the event that it’s for displaying the student’s achievement in a topic that is still being taught then the display portfolio would be best. In the event that it’s meant to evaluate the teaching methods then the assessment portfolio would be the best one for this purpose. If need be then you can decide to combine all the three types.


Before setting up portfolios, a teacher must also bear in mind that it needs to be graded and serve a meaning in the curriculum. Therefore, the teacher should come up with criteria that would be used to grade it. The teacher should also remember that the grades will count a lot in the student’s final evaluation.

Mode of Delivery

In addition to the various types of portfolios that exist, they can be broken down further into digital or paper portfolios. Technology is a necessary aspect in today’s world. Therefore, technological portfolios are preferred as opposed to the paper ones.

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